The story focuses on Abigail Williams, the niece of Reverend Samuel Parris, and Abigail’s friends whom we soon find out where all participating in some questionable behavior. The curtain opens upon Reverend Parris praying over his afflicted daughter, Betty. Various neighbors enter and exit the scene and pronounce the child to be possessed, much to the horror of Reverend Parris.
Whether Betty was truly ill or simply acting I never found out because I quit reading the story after 20 pages. The characters were so cruel and generally annoying that I couldn’t stand reading about them. I don’t know why Arthur Miller chose to make his historically Puritan characters out to be so malicious. Even though the book was only 140 pages long I did not want to finish the story. Had I been in the audience during the original 1953 Broadway production I would cringed the entire time.